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If You Can’t Be On Time, Be Obscenely Early

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: theoryofrelativetea | September 13, 2021

I get a summer job at my university working for professors that I have worked with before, and they ask me last-minute to teach a summer workshop to ninth- and tenth-graders.

So, with less than two weeks before the camp starts, I have a bunch of paperwork to do first, including “clearances” that say I can work with kids. One of these is an official FBI check, for which they need my fingerprints. I need to do the physical fingerprinting right away in order to get the result in time. Luckily, I am able to book a fingerprinting appointment for that Friday — booked twenty-four hours in advance, as required — which will be just barely enough time to get the result.

That Friday, I catch the subway to campus and it’s atrociously slow. I’ll admit that I should have planned for this; the subway here is always behind. I end up slightly late getting to campus, so I literally run to the police station and enter the front room exactly five minutes after my appointment time. I know this because, as I step through the door, I feel my phone buzz with what I later learn to be a “Your appointment has been cancelled” email.

I speak to the cop behind bulletproof glass inside and I learn that my appointment was cancelled; apparently, they are automatically cancelled if you’re not checked in within five minutes. Obviously, this is outrageous, but I’m usually a patient guy. I ask if I can book a new appointment. That’s no good, since it would have to be Monday or later.

I grab a coffee from across the street and return to sit inside the police station. I try and solve this with some Googling while I slip into a more and more frantic state of frustration. I can’t find anywhere in the city that can fingerprint me before Monday.

But here’s what really pushes me over the edge. While I’m sitting there, at this point thirty minutes past my appointment time, someone else comes in for fingerprints. She shows up five minutes early. They take her in immediately and she’s out before her appointment was even scheduled to begin. The entire thing took her about two minutes. I point out to the cop behind the glass, as politely as I can, that clearly someone could see me right now because her appointment is already over. Why can’t I have the current slot? But the cop insists that since my appointment was cancelled, my registration info is “no longer in the system” and I can’t be seen today.

That’s when the idea comes to me and I confirm with him that showing up early is not a problem, because they would have my appointment and registration info in the system. You see where I’m going with this.

I quietly sit back down and take out my phone. About ten minutes later, I calmly approach him again and say, “Hello, I have a new appointment to be fingerprinted. I’m about seventy-two hours early.”

I have never seen such an exasperated sigh in my life. But the cop checked my new confirmation number and everything was in order. Within ten minutes, I was walking back out after getting fingerprinted.

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He Needs To Police His Funds Better

, , , | Legal | May 5, 2021

I work in a police dispatch department. This call happens during a night shift on a weekend at 3:00 am, when all the bars close in our city.

Caller: “Hey, I’m at [Bar]. I need you to pick me up and drive me home to [Town about four miles outside our city limits]. You brought me home last time.”

I ask his name and quickly look up why on earth we would have driven him home. It’s uncommon for us to even leave city limits when it’s not an emergency since we don’t have any jurisdiction outside the city. It turns out that this happened last weekend, and he had gotten in trouble for trying to walk out of a bar without paying for his drinks. By that point, he was drunk, but not massively so, but he didn’t have any money to pay the last couple of drinks and no means of getting any from an ATM. This obviously meant that he didn’t have the cash to pay for a taxi, either. 

The officers that were dispatched told the bartender what his options were while they took down the patron’s details and then they decided to take the patron home where he lives with his mother, since it was just a short drive and there were plenty of other officers on duty, so two guys driving out of town for ten minutes wasn’t problematic. He also wasn’t aggressive and didn’t seem to pose any danger to others or himself, so we couldn’t justify putting him into the drunk tank to spend the night.

Anyway, he somehow got it into his head that it’d be a brilliant idea to just call the cops himself in order to get a free ride home after a night of drinking, instead of provisioning some funds for the ride home.

Caller: “Come on, dude. I don’t have any money — I spent it all on drinks — so you gotta bring me home. You have to help people in need.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but last time was a pretty big exception. We’re the police, not a taxi service so, unfortunately, I can’t help you. You’ll have to find another way to get home or maybe get some money from an ATM to pay for a cab.”

Caller: “Nah, in that case, I’ll just walk home.”

And with that, he ended the call. It’s not unusual for people to walk home after a night of drinking if they don’t want to pay for a taxi, which costs a flat rate of $20 for the nearest few towns. I did it myself in my younger years, and the town I live in was even farther away than his, so it’s doable. Still, I decided to call his mother and inform her that her son had called us about a ride home so if she wanted to pick him up herself, she’d at least know where he was.

Mother: “Oh, no, he’s an adult. If he can’t manage his funds in order to get home, that’s his problem.”

True to his word, the caller did end up walking home that night and he didn’t attempt to get us to be his private free taxi service anymore.

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Was Your Brain Confiscated, Too?

, , , | Legal | August 5, 2020

I answer the phone at the investigation department at the police station.

Caller: “Hi. I’m with [Law Firm], and the son of one of our clients had his car confiscated.”

Me: “Okay, can you give me the vehicle’s plate number?”

Caller: “I don’t have that.”

Me: “What is the son’s ID number?”

Caller: “I don’t have that, either.”

Me: “What’s his name?”

Caller: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Do you have your client’s ID number?”

Caller: *Pause* “Let me call you back.”

He never did.

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Better A Ticket Than A Toe-Tag

, , , , | Legal | July 26, 2020

My mum is a very nice lady, but you don’t want to cross her or hurt her kids. That doesn’t mean we get away with everything; on the contrary. Her “mum sense” is very sensitive; she often knows of our wrongdoings almost before they happen. We are usually very honest in confessing, as lying often leads to a more severe punishment than the transgression itself.

One day my brother, about fifteen and fairly shy and quickly intimidated, returns home from school and tells my parents that he got a ticket going to school this morning for crossing while the light was red. He swears that the light changed when he was already on the crossing with his bike. The officer, however, bullied him into acknowledging he crossed the road during the red light and gave him a ticket.

My mum studies the ticket and ushers my brother into the car, and my parents and brother drive to the police department.

Mum: “Where do I need to pay?”

Police Officer: “Excuse me?”

Mum: “Where do I need to pay? Apparently, my son crossed [Busiest Crossroads in town] during rush hour and all he has to show for is a ticket. I’m happy to pay the ticket and not the undertaker, so where do I need to pay?”

My mum makes enough noise to attract the attention of the commissioner and he overhears the last part.

Commissioner: “Can I see the ticket, please?”

He mumbles under his breath, “[Officer] again,” before speaking to my mum.

Commissioner: “I agree, it would be sheerly impossible to cross the road there at that hour without getting hurt. You don’t need to worry about the ticket; we will take care of it.”

It later turned out that the officer issuing the ticket had a track record of very readily ticketing teenagers for real or imagined facts. I don’t know what happened to the officer, but we never heard anything about the ticket again.

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Teenage Drug Dealers Can’t Afford To Be Touchy

, , , , , | Legal | April 26, 2020

I’m a police officer in a small town with a lot of wealthy individuals. I have just finished breaking up a drug deal and have arrested a fifteen-year-old dealer with eight grams of cocaine and we’re waiting for his father to show up.

Kid: “Man, you better let me go. My dad’s a lawyer and there’s no way you have a case.”

Officer: “Listen, kid, just wait for your dad to show up before you say something stupid. Now, turn around if you want those cuffs off.”

The officer goes to uncuff the kid who suddenly violently breaks off.

Kid: “What the f***?! Get your hands off my balls!”

Me: “He didn’t even touch you yet.”

Kid: “Oh, yeah? Well, who’s the judge gonna believe? You two idiots or my dad?” 

Me: “I’m pretty sure they’ll believe that camera.”

I point to one at the end of the hall pointed at him.

Me: “Or that one.”

I point to one literally just above him.

Kid: “Well, f*** you! You’re nothing but a bunch of podunk pigs!”

It took another thirty minutes for his father to show up, the little drug dealer screaming and cursing the whole while. Luckily, his dad didn’t see it as such a clear-cut case of innocence and took a plea deal forcing his son into a house arrest with rehab and weekly drug tests, as well as freezing access to his trust fund. He also apologized to the department and said if his son ever ended up here again, he would cut him out of the family will.

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